It is a pleasure to introduce this double issue of the Journal of Mechanical Design, which contains the supplement on Robust and Reliability-Based Design edited by Profs. Shapour Azarm and Zissimos Mourelatos. This combination of invited and contributed papers provides a timely description of the state of the art in this important area of mechanical design research.

I am pleased to announce that the ASME Publications Committee has recommended that in 2007 the Journal of Mechanical Design move to 12 monthly issues with a total of 1400 pages. Recall that in 2003 our journal consisted of four quarterly issues totaling 700 pages. We now receive about 450 submissions per year, and benefit from reviews provided by colleagues around the world.

Managing this review process are 21 Associate Editors, each with a three-year term. It is easy to estimate that seven associate editors will retire each year, and as of this issue, Profs. Kyung K. Choi, Suresh Ananthasuresh, Q. Jeffrey Ge, Erol Sancaktar, David Kazmer, and Michael Savage have completed their excellent service to our research community.

I am honored to announce that Profs. Ashitava Ghosal, Zissimos Mourelatos, and Jose Rico were nominated by the Design Division Executive Committee and approved by the ASME Publications Committee to begin their terms of service. Their photographs and biographies are below.

The effort of each of our associate editors is rewarded only by our recognition of the critical role that they play in the success of our research community. Please join me in expressing deep gratitude for the service of our outgoing associate editors, and in welcoming the commitment of our new associate editors.

Dr. Zissimos P. Mourelatos is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, MI. Before joining Oakland University, he spent 18 years at the General Motors Research and Development (GM R&D) Center and was concurrently an Adjunct Associate Professor at The University of Michigan for 17 years. He received his Ph.D. in 1985 from The University of Michigan. He conducts research in the areas of structural dynamics and reliability methods in engineering design. His research interests include internal combustion engine dynamics, NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness), design under uncertainty, structural reliability methods, reliability analysis with insufficient data, and response surface generation. He is active in the dynamics and vibrations as well as structural reliability communities, including membership in SAE, ASME, and AIAA. Dr. Mourelatos has published over 80 journal and conference publications, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the newly formed “International Journal of Reliability and Safety.”

Jose Maria Rico obtained a B.Sc. degree at the Instituto Tecnologico de Celaya in 1974, a M.Sc. degree at the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in 1977, and a Ph.D. degree at the University of Florida in 1988, under the guidance of the late Prof. Joseph Duffy, all in Mechanical Engineering. From 1975 to 2005, he was affiliated with the Departamento de Ingenieria Mecanica at the Instituto Tecnologico de Celaya, Mexico. Since 2005, he has been affiliated with the Facultad de Ingenieria Mecanica, Electrica y Electronica at the Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico. For several years, he was a summer visiting scholar at the Center for Intelligent Machines and Robotics at the University of Florida, and he has had sabbatical stays at Arizona State University (1992–1993) with Prof. Joseph K. Davidson, and at the University of California, Davis (1999–2000) with Prof. Bahram Ravani. He is interested in theoretical and computational kinematics.

Dr. Ashitava Ghosal obtained his B.Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India in 1980, an MS degree from the University of Florida at Gainesville in 1982, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1986. He then worked at Carnegie Mellon University and at Integrated Systems, Inc., Santa Clara, before moving to the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India in August 1988. He is interested in the topics of kinematics, dynamics and control of robots, computer controlled mechanical systems, and other multibody systems. He is also interested in design of mechanical systems and product design, and has published over 65 papers in international journals, conference proceedings, and workshops. Recently his book on robotics has been published by Oxford University Press. More details on his research and other activities are available at